Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Language proficiency and immigrants’ labor market outcomes in post-crisis Spain

Davia, María A. and Wang, Ting and Gámez, Matías (2019): Language proficiency and immigrants’ labor market outcomes in post-crisis Spain.

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This paper analyses the impact of Spanish proficiency on first generation immigrants’ labor market outcomes, based on the Labor Force Survey 2014 ad hoc module on the “Labor market situation of migrants and their immediate descendants”. A very high level of proficiency in Spanish is found to enhance immigrants’ employability, particularly for non Spanish-speaking immigrants. The impact increases when potential endogeneity in language skills is addressed via IV variables. Still, proficiency in Spanish does not help to get higher ranked occupations, measured via ISEI (International Socio-Economic Index) – and language skills neither contribute to explain occupational status, nor are endogenous to it, even after control for sample selection. The first result confirms the downward bias of the impact of the language proficiency on employment probabilities when the endogeneity problem is not accounted while the second responds to the particular occupational segregation in Spain amongst workers from different areas of the world.

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